Where does your state rank in school breakfast performance? Find out in the most recent School Breakfast Scorecard from our partners at Food Research & Action Center. Use the scorecard to track school breakfast trends nationally and to compare school breakfast participation and service by state. Here is a quick summary of key data points from FRAC’s School Breakfast Scorecard:
- The School Breakfast Program (SBP) served nearly 5 million low-income students on an average day in SY 2017-18; this is a 1.2 percent increase over the previous school year;
- In SY 2017-18, 57 low-income students participated in school breakfast for every 100 who participated in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) in SY 2017-18;
- If every state served FRAC’s goal of 70 low-income students at breakfast for every 100 at school lunch, 8 million additional students a year would participate in school breakfast and states/school districts would be tapping into an additional $804.7 million in federal funding to support school food services and local economies.
Once again West Virginia was the top-performing state in school breakfast participation, reaching 83.7 low-income students with school breakfast for every 100 who participated in school lunch. Congratulations, West Virginia!
Sixteen states reported reaching at least 60 low-income students at breakfast for every 100 at lunch in SY 2017-18. The Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom have funded breakfast-in-the-classroom schools in 12 of the 16 states since our inception in 2010: Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. In SY 2017-18, Cycle 3 state Louisiana saw a 6.9 percent increase in the number of school breakfast participants—great work, Louisiana! [Read more on the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom grant in Livingston Parish Public Schools, Louisiana.]
The 2017-18 School Breakfast Scorecard identifies some best practices associated with increased rates of school breakfast participation, including:
- Moving breakfast OUT of the cafeteria and AFTER the start of the school day: When breakfast is integrated into the school day and offered where students are most likely to participate (hint: the classroom!) breakfast becomes part of the school culture which helps reduce stigma;
- Offering breakfast at NO CHARGE to all students: When breakfast is “universal” (free to all students) stigma is reduced and participation increases.
It’s National School Breakfast Week and National Nutrition Month, which means now is the perfect time to review FRAC’s 2017-18 School Breakfast Scorecard and School Breakfast: Making it Work in Large Districts report. Use these reports to help you illustrate the benefits of school breakfast to stakeholders and to advocate for your own breakfast-in-the-classroom program.